No fewer than 12 Arrowtown and Wakatipu rugby players have won selection in the Central Otago Premiers squad playing this Saturday.
Central Otago play South Otago in Lawrence in what’s the 100th Topp Cup fixture.
The Wakatipu-Arrowtown weighting is no surprise, given Wakatipu is unbeaten after eight rounds of the Central Otago competition and Arrowtown has dropped only one game – to Wakatipu.
Wakatipu representatives are lock Ben McDonald, no.8 Toi Roberts, flanker John Noonan, second-five Tai Raumati, centre Matt Nesbitt and winger Stu Vincent.
Arrowtown is represented by prop Alex Lee, hooker/prop Brogan Hyde, lock John Morrison, lock/blindside Richard Lee, halfback Kelly Henderson and winger Dan Eyles.
The local connection extends to coaching – Arrowtown’s Hayden Finch and Wakatipu’s Damian Petre are Central Otago’s co-coaches.
Finch says they’ve picked “a lot of young guys that we hope will stick around the region for a few years to come”.
“We don’t have the very best team that we’d like but the boys that we’ve picked are young and keen.
“We’re really going to hope we go down there and put up a bloody good showing.”
The Topp Cup game means the Central Otago competition takes a break for a week.
Wakatipu Premiers last Saturday beat Clyde-Earnscleugh 29-12 in Clyde and Arrowtown thrashed the Wakatipu Wanderers 91-0 in Queenstown.